Summers are now twice as long as winters in all Australian capital cities, report finds
Posted on 02.03.2020
Australian summers have become, on average, 31 days longer in Australia’s capital cities, and in regional areas that number is even higher, according to a new report.
Researchers at the Australia Institute crunched Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) data from between 1999 to 2018 and compared it with Australian weather records from 1950 to 1969.
The analysis found all Australian capital cities experienced longer summers and shorter winters, with summer 31 days longer and winter three weeks shorter than in the 50s and 60s.
In regional areas the trend was even more pronounced — including the NSW town of Port Macquarie, on the Mid-North Coast.
“Summers in Port Macquarie have increased by 48 days, while the catastrophic 2019 fires near Port Macquarie occurred before summer as defined by the calendar, but well within the new summer as caused by climate change,” the report summarised.
Two researchers examined the BOM data from 70 weather stations across the non-tropical parts of Australia.
The discussion paper, titled Out of Season, concluded climate change had led to significant changes in Australian seasons.
Australia Institute Climate and Energy Program director Richie Merzian said average temperatures previously recorded around the start of December were setting in much earlier.
“If summer feels like it’s getting longer and longer, it’s because it actually is, especially if you’re an older Australian,” Mr Merzian said.
“Those average summer temperatures are starting a lot earlier and they’re finishing a lot later, so summers have become twice as long as winters in the last five years.”
- The report found climate change had changed the length of Australian summers and winters
- Sydney now has an extra 28 days of summer and 15 fewer days of winter compared to the 50s and 60s
- Regional areas are experiencing the longest summers, with 48 more days of summer in Port Macquarie
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